The creative industry lags behind most other industries when it comes to management and team coaching behaviours. When management is done well, it can help creative teams raise their game. When done poorly, it can make the best creatives underperform, hate their jobs and go elsewhere.

I have a number of years experience of building creative cultures and teams that over-perform. I’ve had very little training — it’s rarely given — everything I’ve learned is based on watching other managers succeed and fail plus my own trial and error.

Failure and error are generally the most fertile source of growth…


Stories Well Told and identity well found

At McCann we recently ran ‘Stories Well Told’, a digital conference in the UK. Here’s the story of how we branded it.

Finding the inspiration

Sometimes the spark required to start is discovered in the least likely of places.

Lauren Gaballo, a Junior Designer here at McCann had done some work for one of our other clients that had been binned off. It was one of those projects that hadn’t made it through and was languishing on her desktop. In just one of those visuals I saw the seed of an approach that could work for Stories Well Told. I…


Recently I decided to start writing about
my work in Medium

Not just to support my portfolio, but potentially to replace it. But, why would I use a site like Medium to replace my portfolio? For a few reasons…

I enjoy reading on Medium

It’s one of the most readable sites. The structure, flow and styling all add up to making reading on screen a good experience. BBC take note.

There’s a simplicity to Medium that I love

It’s partly why it’s so readable. But, it’s more than that. I’ve long held the idea that work should speak for itself. I get cynical about portfolio sites that over complicate or embellish…


Stories Well Told and lessons well learned

At McCann we recently ran ‘Stories Well Told’, a digital conference in the UK. Here’s the story of it’s creation and the day itself, with a few pointers that you might find useful if you’re thinking of doing something similar.

With something this ambitious. Where do you start?

Get a theme

The best conferences have a strong theme; a perspective that needs to be explored. Digital is an exciting, broad and growing topic. So to hone in on something would be a challenge, but an absolute necessity.

Thankfully, very early on we agreed exactly what that theme was. A shared…

James Warfield

Fan of strategy, creativity, design, experience and brand. Occasional copywriter. Improv comedian. And I can cut a straight line with a hand saw.

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